Pecan Lodge had a strong showing on the Posse's Best of the Best DFW BBQ list. (Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BB Posse)

While compiling our list for Final Four fans of the best Dallas-Forth Worth area barbecue joints, we also engaged in some smoked meat bracketology. We rated the best-of-the-best individual menu items -- and some other categories -- from the field of North Texas competitors.

For this task, we relied on the opinions of 6 veteran Posse members. All have eaten a lot of barbecue since we started going on tours in 2009. All have strong opinions. There was just one unanimous pick: The best brisket is at Pecan Lodge in Dallas.

Winners in two other categories came close with 5 mentions each. The Best Deal is the $16.59 all-you-can-eat special at Hutchins BBQ in McKinney and the Best Bar is at Work Bar & Grill in Dallas.

In several categories, 3 votes were enough to lead the pack.

Here are the Posse's best-of-the-best in DFW, with vote totals and comments:

BEST BRISKET: Pecan Lodge in Dallas. This was the only unanimous choice. "Unquestionably the smokiest, most consistently outstanding brisket in town," said Posse member Phil Lamb.

BEST RIBS: Baby Back Shak in Dallas with 3 votes. "I love the Shak ribs. They were the staple for my BBQ fixes during the lean BBQ years on the DFW landscape," said Gary Barber. Others receiving votes: Pecan Lodge and BBQ on the Brazos in Cresson. One Posse member split his vote between Pecan Lodge and Lockhart Smokehouse, which has joints in Dallas and Plano.

Lockhart Smokehouse won for best sausage and best atmosphere.
(Photo ©Chris Wilkins)

BEST SAUSAGE: Lockhart Smokehouse with 3 votes. "You can't mess with Kreuz sausage's history and legacy," said Daniel Goncalves. Lockhart Smokehouse gets its sausage from the famed Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Tx. Others receiving votes: Pecan Lodge, Jambo's BBQ Shack in Rendon and Longoria's BBQ in Everman.

BEST TURKEY: Hutchins with 3 votes. All the meats at Hutchins are very good, but the turkey rises to the top among DFW barbecue joints. Others receiving votes: Baby Back Shak and Hard Eight BBQ in Coppell.

BEST SANDWICH: Jambo's with 3 votes for its giant Jambo Texan. "I don't eat sandwiches at BBQ places, but Jambo's meat combo served between two slices of bread would be the exception," Goncalves said. Others receiving votes: Meshack's Bar-B-Que in Garland, Baby Back Shak and Hard Eight.

BEST SIDE: Baby Back Shak's boudin with 3 votes. Boudin is a Cajun-style sausage stuffed with rice and pork. "Really the only side I've had more than a fork full of in Texas," Goncalves said. Others receiving votes: The Brussels sprouts with cauliflower at The Slow Bone in Dallas and the smoked deviled eggs at Lockhart Smokehouse.

BEST DEAL: Hutchins' $16.59 all-you-can-eat special with 5 votes. "If you truly want to pig out on great BBQ without breaking the bank, it's your only real option," Barber said. One vote for the Trough meat sampler at Pecan Lodge.

BEST SERVICE: Hutchins with 4 votes. This is a continuation from the Best Deal, above. Just tell the waitress to bring another plate of ribs, and don't forget the ice cream. One vote for Longoria's.

BEST ATMOSPHERE: Lockhart Smokehouse with 3 votes. "It's in a vibrant neighborhood and could serve as base camp for any game-watching operation, or simply the first stop among Bishop Arts' many eating and drinking establishments," Lamb said of the Dallas location. Others receiving votes: Hard Eight and Longoria's.

BEST BAR: Work with 5 votes, one split with Lockhart Smokehouse. Eat good barbecue, have a drink and also get a taste of Dallas' revitalized club scene. One other vote for Lockhart Smokehouse.

BEST JOINT OVERALL: Pecan Lodge with 4 votes, one split with Hutchins.  "For me it's all about the brisket and Pecan Lodge knows brisket," Goncalves said. "The waiting line says it all and it's worth the wait." Others receiving votes: Hutchins and The Slow Bone.

BEST CHAIN: Rudy's with 4 votes. The Posse doesn't usually eat at chain joints, but when it does, it's probably Rudy's. No other chain received votes.

Hutchins BBQ won for turkey, best service & best deal for their $16.59 All You Can Eat special.
(Photo ©Chris Wilkins/Texas BBQ Posse)

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